Gunther and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Demilich Deer

Posted on March 08, 2017

This tale happened during a homebrew high-level campaign with characters we’d been running for a long time. My character was a cookie-cutter Nordic Barbarian type (think Wulfgar or Conan) that I’d managed to roll insane starting stats for (no less than a 16 and STR of 18/98). This of course meant that any saving roll I ever made after that was guaranteed to fail… extravagantly.

There we were, mid-campaign, and for one reason or another our party had run dangerously low on food. Us being a goofy bunch and me being vaguely bored, I (the Barbarian) decided to volunteer to hunt us up some grub. My plan was to climb a tree, which to pass DEX checks required removal of all but my underclothing and sheath. While in the tree, I planned to wait for a woodland creature to happen along, and then I would pounce from on high with my two-handed sword like some sort of meaty rod from god.

Now, with all that being said, obviously there were some logistical issues at play—such as bait and woodcraft—but the DM, wanting to see how this would play out, sent a good-sized buck into the jumpzone. Seeing my chance, I rolled for jump and succeeded! Huzzah!

“Now,” said the DM, “whilst in the air, roll a tumble check to bring your sword to bear mid-flight.”

This, too, passed! Huzzah!

“Only one more roll, and that's for attack.”

This is a gimme… and it’s a 1! HUZz… crap. Critical miss.

The DM’s next words obviously did not bring very much hope to my situation. "Roll for damage."

As the miss had caused me to land face-first into the ground, I gashed my arm with my sword as it got caught under me. Further insult to injury, the deer stomped the bejeezus out of me, gouged me a tad with its antlers, and promptly buggered off.

So at this point I was quite badly damaged to both my body and pride. Upon arrival back to camp I was understandably asked what happened, so I spun a tale of an encounter with some manner of dread cervid from the deepest woods.

At this point our Bard—because of course we have a Bard, and of COURSE he's a raging douche canoe—well, he decided to roll Wisdom against my bluff. Want to guess who won that one? His weighted roll, which through lore and experience blah blah blah, let him see through the story by examining my wounds.

That night the Bard wrote a comical ballad satirizing my tale in a very unflattering light. I guess karma decided to counterpoint my natural 1 with him rolling a natural 20 on his check to write said tale. Thus, from that point on, no matter how soon after or far away from the event, the tale of "Gunther and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Demilich deer" was extremely well-known in all towns we visited, and so well-written that all townspeople immediately recognized my character as THAT Gunther.

Needless to say, not too long after (and one too many failed saves later) I let that character finally perma-die and instead played one of his followers as my main. This new character had average stats, true, but he aced most throws (single killing a greater Basilisk with a shield slam, for example).

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